To the Question ~ with audio


To the Question

To the QuestionWhat is truth, and what is fiction?
Though facts may abound,
much is unknown. There is no lack
of sources or resources, yet not
all is black and white. Insights,
opinions from self-labeled experts
available at our fingertips, only
muddy the waters. Clarity
is open to interpretation. If only
I might ken their meaning.

This poem is my response to Day 14 at, where the prompt is to write a poem that delves into the meaning of one’s first or last name.

Ken G.

~ Day 14 ~

Image source:

Following the Roots

Following the Roots

Following the RootsLong past its prime
a mighty oak stands, still.
In a forest of green,
no leaves grace these branches.

Time and the elements
have taken their toll,
yet its majesty can be traced
along every one of its limbs.

Witness to hundreds of years
of mankind’s history, its own
can be seen in each of those lines,
every branch a tale of its environs.

I wonder at its thoughts, formed
as each new bud opened, transitioned,
and fell to the ground to nourish
its own roots, food for those thoughts.

My own thoughts follow the poetry
of those paths, falling to take shape
on the page, in the hope to capture words
that stand as tall, and for as long, as that oak.

Off prompt for Day 13 at, this poem is in response to earthweal weekly challenge: TOWARD AN ECOPOETRY. Brendan asks us to consider how our poetry works or doesn’t in regard to six offered questions. I tried to touch on the following:

3. If our inner lives echo natural rhythms without, how can we come
   to understand the inner by growing closer to the outer?

~ Day 13 ~

Terra Nova ~ prosery


Terra Nova

With little more than the clothes on my back, I approach a building found by following the directions in a note meant only for true believers. An otherwise empty wall holds one nondescript door. As I enter, it closes behind me. I feel a rush of air and realize I am in an airlock. Glancing back, I see that the entrance is gone. There is only one door before me. Above it is a sign that reads, “If you are a dreamer, come in.” Without hesitation, I open it to see a wondrous vista before me and realize that gone are the technologies that would deny Terra the expression of her true self. I step through with no regrets, for who could deny this unspoiled beauty is worth more than all I leave behind. Forward lies the future mankind once thought out of reach.


This is my response to Meet me where the sidewalk ends…,
the prosery prompt form Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For this prompt, the line to be included is from “Invitation,” a poem from Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends.

“If you are a dreamer, come in.”
                                  – Shel Silverstein

This prosery started out as a poem for Day 12 at, which challenges us to use words from Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction.” I used “airlock” and “Terra.” When I saw Lillian’s prompt at dVerse I realized I could revise it to be a prosery. I’ve met the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.

Image source: Wikipedia (edited here)span>

Terra Nova

Terra Nova

TerraNovaWith the promise
of a brighter tomorrow,
I enter the airlock
knowing the only exit
does not take me back,
only forward. I open it
to see a wondrous vista
before me and realize I leave
behind the technologies
that deny Terra the expression
of her true self.

I step through and accept
this gift without regret,
for who could deny
this unspoiled beauty
is worth more than all
I leave behind. Forward
lies the future mankind
once thought out of reach.

This poem is my response to the prompt for Day 12 at, which challenges us to “write a poem using at least one word/concept/idea from each of two specific dictionaries: Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction.” As soon as I saw airlock, I knew I would use that. I then went to the Classical Dictionary, looking for Gaia, but found only Terra, her Roman equivalent. My poem grew from there.

~ Day 12 ~

Image source: Wikipedia (edited here)

Grave Concerns


Grave Concerns

Remember when you’d suffer
through a headache,
rather than take aspirin?

Then came Tylenol tampering.
Another reason to avoid pills.
What would you need with pills?

And winded? Not likely.
You were running
almost every night of the week.

And busy. Always busy.
With any luck, you weren’t
racing towards an early grave.

But long you’ve lived. So far. And tears?
Yeah, a few, but you’ve outlived a few more,
even if you still wonder about that early grave.

So what’s in that drawer?
Right. Meds, pharmacy receipts,
and a pill dispenser that’s now too small.

There’s that pill for blood pressure,
one for the legs that won’t stop moving late
in the day, restless for that gummy to help you sleep.

There’s antihistamines and decongestants.
Oh, and at least three supplements
plus baby aspirin, but you’re nobody’s baby.

You have more doctors’ appointments
than you can count, but you still count.
You’re still here, after all.

You may get winded climbing stairs,
but you get where you’re going.
Oh yeah. Don’t forget to go to the pharmacy.

This poem is my response to Day 10 at, which challenges us to write a poem after taking notes on a favorite songs and notes on what we find in a “junk drawer.” “Breathe,” from Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd has been a favorite for nearly fifty years.

(Pink Floyd)

Breathe, breathe in the air
Don’t be afraid to care
Leave, don’t leave me
Look around, choose your own ground

Grave ConcernsLong you live and high you fly
Smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be

Run, rabbit, run
Dig that hole, forget the sun
When at last the work is done
Don’t sit down, it’s time to dig another one

Long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
Balanced on the biggest wave
Race towards an early grave

Image source:


NaPoWriMo 2021

~ Day 10 ~


budding oaks ~ haiku

 and daffodil nods

hungry goldfinch feeds
while stealthy cat stays inside
glad daffodil nods

budding oaks
celebrate new light

elusive worm moon

elusive worm moon
hidden behind clouds and trees
unruffled owl hunts

on quiet Sunday
lily bows

By some stretch of the imagination,
this may be considered on prompt for Day 9 of,
which challenges us to write a list poem.  The haiku are my response to
Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge #182-185: Transformation,
which offers this list of kigo:

goldfinch feeds_a• Daffodil
• Equinox
• Worm Moon
• Lily

NaPoWriMo 2021

~ Day 9 ~

~ click all images for larger view in new tab ~




Emptiness for nearly sixty years.
Never knowing why. Doctors thought
they had the answer last year,
when they found a hole in my heart.
But that emptiness was filled ten years ago,
when you came into my life.

This poem is my response to MTB: The Body and Poetry, the prompt from Grace at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem using a part of the body as a metaphor.

Early last year, I was diagnosed with a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), or whole in my heart – the possible cause for a TIA I experienced in late 2019 (with no more occurrences). It’s a congenital condition, and the doctors have decided to monitor the situation, rather than performing surgery at my age. On the plus side for my heart, I met my wife ten years ago.

NaPoWriMo 2021

~ Day 8 ~





There’s no way to know when our time will come. I sure didn’t.
Would I have done things differently if I did? Probably not.
Life teaches as it tests, so we do the best we can with the time we have.

Who am I to say whether you learned your lessons well?
I had my own lessons to learn, but those days are long gone.
Yes, my life was cut short, but, hell, my family was cut short.

A brother I never knew, gone almost before he could breathe.
My mother gone before I was fifteen, when I had to learn to breathe
all over again for myself and my father, devastated for the rest of his life.

I learned early on not to expect something for nothing,
that hard work brings rewards. Life may be cruel, but it can be
just as generous. Your love, even since I’ve been gone, is proof.

You’ve had your own lessons to learn. Those that were easy balanced
with trials. One at a time, you’ve managed. Life is meant to be lived
one day at a time. Live it. Don’t dwell on the past. Continue to learn.


This poem may not be quite on prompt for Day 8 of, which challenges us to “read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead.” Mine is definitely not in the same style as those by Edgar Lee Masters. I chose to write it in the voice of my father – therapy for myself, probably, since it’s more in my “voice” than his. I suppose it could be an epilogue to my Day 6 poem, “Instillation.”

NaPoWriMo 2021

~ Day 8 ~



Poetrythe poet
each moment
is worthy of a poem
each is a poem

new word
a poem
will take the reader
deeper into its relevance
broadening the experience
until the reader
those thoughts

My response to Day 7 of, which asks us to write either a shadorma or a Fib, contains both.

The Fib is a poetic form created by Gregory K. Pincus that plays off the mathematical Fibonacci sequence to arrive at the syllable count per line. For a 6-line poem, that count would be 1/1/2/3/5/8. Each count is determined by adding the 2 previous line-counts. A multi-stanza poem can be written by linking multiple Fibs together. Mine was created by reversing the syllable count in the second half – 8/5/3/2/1/1.

A shadorma has one or more 6-line stanza(s) with a syllable count of 3/5/3/3/7/5. I posted a shadorma for each day of the month during November 2017.

~ Day 7 ~

Image source: Wikipedia




Blue collar, with roots deeper than any walnut or oak.
I remember those black walnuts from Uncle Bill’s farm.
Shells as hard as the hammer to break them.
And bitter, but hard work can be that way. Even if
a vacation on his dairy farm was more work than play,
it still made great memories.
He wasn’t a man to shy away from work.

Neither was his brother, whose lessons carried me through life.
Even before I worked beside him on a loading dock,
there was work in the yard, digging a trench for a foundation.
Pulling the transmission out of one of my first cars and replacing it.
Building a barn when he finally bought his own piece of land.
The years I put in on the dock after he retired.
The many years after that driving a truck, making deliveries.
The lesson that got me through all of that was simple.

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.


This poem is my response to Day 6 of, which asks us to use a quote from a favorite book as inspiration and as the title for a poem, and then to change the title of the poem. The term TANSTAAFL (“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”) was a theme in “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress,” by Robert Heinlein, (1966). The complete phrase was already in use by the early 1940s.

NaPoWriMo 2021

~ Day 6 ~